A candidate's experience with video interviews: Q&A with Juan M. Gaona from Rovio

Miikka Tuomola

Miikka Tuomola

Miikka Tuomola

The best way to ensure your company’s success is to attract and recruit the best talent and the right people. But how to provide a great candidate experience during the recruitment process to ensure that the candidates will view your company in a positive way?

We interviewed Juan M. Gaona about his experiences, when he applied for an open job at Rovio (the company which created the famous Angry Birds). View Juan’s videos (or read the trascription) and listen what he has to say about his experiences as a candidate applying for a job!

(Ps. Don't let the name confuse you. It was our name before we changed it to RecRight in 2017.)

Q: How would you describe your reaction, when you first heard that video interviews will be used as a part of the recruitment process?


"At the time when I first was invited to Recruitby interview, I have been looking for a job for a few months and of course, I have been to a few interviews. Living in Lappeenranta, which is on the far east side of Finland, I had to travel a lot to the Capital Area before. So, the first time someone said “Okay, we're going to do the next step of the selection process through video interview” I was actually quite relieved not to have to travel, not to have to spend at least maybe sixty to a hundred euros every time with the trains. Sometimes I had to stay at my friend's place when I had an interview very early the next day. My first reaction was very positive, you know. With the video interview, you can do it at your home, you can take your time, so the first reaction was positive. Although when I heard video interview I thought it was something like Skype. But I still was comfortable with that at that moment. It was later on that I discovered how Recruitby works."

Q: How did you experience being interviewed on a video? Describe in your own words. 


"To you say the least, my experience was extremely positive. Once I got the email, and obviously, I learned and understood how the system works, I realized this isn't a Skype sort of situation. But it was really easy for me. Not only to manage all the technical part and to understand how to record my answers, and how to see the questions, but just the concept came through so clearly that there are video questions and video answers. The experience was really smooth and I had no problems. In my perspective, there were many advantages compared to Skype, where although it is done in the distance, you have to answer real-time. With Recruitby, I had the time to think of and rehearse my answers, and to think exactly which words I was going to use, and to be much more relaxed. I think that communication is probably one of my strengths, so even though I'm put in front of a camera or I’m in a normal interview situation I feel confident. So what I found at that moment was that giving the opportunity to record and re-record my answers until I was satisfied was the perfect situation. Many people would think that in that position the candidate is going to record a thousand times, but actually I only recorded maybe two, or three, or even once my answers, because the truth is that when you realize that you can just send your answers whenever you're ready, then you are much more relaxed. You don't have the pressure “okay, I have to get it right this the first time”. So giving that advantage and giving that freedom (to re-record) really makes you feel much more confident that you don’t need to record it a thousand times. You can just record it a couple of times, and you’ll see that the pressure is so low, that whenever you are ready you send it. So that was really what blew my mind about the system, and well, the fact that it feels really safe. Every time you send your answers, it shows you that the answer is sent, and I think when you are done they give you an email, so you know that there’s no technical difficulties or anything. You can even go back and see your answers once again. There’s no chance that you were answered will be lost or anything. It didn't seem like the system was shaky or in any way and insecure. I really like the system, I wish I could have Recruitby interviews more often instead of having to travel hours and hours and spend so much time and money sometimes even in interviews that you're not even sure you want to go to but you’re just curious to see so Recruitby really saves money and time and it gives you the opportunity to give your best answer."

Q: Did you experience that using video interviews as a recruiting method had an effect on your impression of the employer from candidate’s perspective?


"I wouldn’t say that the image of the employer (Rovio) changed for me, just because I had a very clear image of who the employer was. The fact that they use Recruitby fit well with the image I had of them. The company I was applying to was Rovio. And of course you think of them as very fresh and very state of the art kind of company that is willing to take alternative ways of doing selection processes like Recruitby. Let’s say, if I had been applying to a bank or more serious organization, using Recruitby would’ve positively changed the image because then they would seem maybe a bit more relaxed and a bit less stiff by trying new methods like this. So it didn’t change the image of the employer just because the fact that they are using this makes a lot of sense. At first they did give me the impression that maybe there were maybe more applicants during this, and that’s why they needed to save time with the tool like this. Of course, as a candidate, that puts a lot of pressure thinking "Okay, what if they rather do twenty video interviews instead of doing three regular interviews. Maybe I am competing against a lot of people?". So that put a lot of pressure on me, but just thinking that I was given the chance to do the best I could and send my answers to my satisfaction was good enough for me. And in the end I ended up getting the job, what could be better than that?"

Q: What advice or tips you would give to a candidate, who has never replied to a video interview before? 


"At the time when I was doing my Recruitby interview, I had just done some video resumes and some video applications. You could say I had some experience working on talking to a camera and seeing myself in videos, and I had had some opportunities to try to figure out what was the best way for me to talk in front of a camera, to be myself, and how to best replicate like a face-to-face conversation but just talking to a camera . It was a really fortunate time for me to get that video interviews because I was able to do that very easily. So for anyone who’s going to do a Recruitby interview I would strongly suggest just practice. Pratice, record yourself, and just try to feel as comfortable as possible as, natural as possible, and you can do that only with practice. You can practice with the system and you can re-record your answers as many times as you want, or you can just record yourself with your camera. As long as you feel as comfortable talking to a camera as talking to a person then you’ll be fine.

The second tip that I’d give would be - although it is a video interview and you have more comfort at home, do dress up as you’d dress up in the situation of the interview. When I did that (the interview), I actually managed to have a better background, I had more plain background. Nothing so distracting as this. So work on the light, have a very quiet environment, work in the background, and just make sure that it looks as professional as you want to seem.

The last tip I’d give is don’t try to use any scripts for your answers. You know what you want to say and you can write notes on when you're practicing, but when you're when you're in front of the camera don't read any scripts because it’s going to be obvious. And you're not going to seem natural if you’re just reading. So I guess the main advice is be yourself and do whatever you’d do in a normal interview scenario."

 Q: Share a few words about your opinion on RecRight video interviews!


"Okay, so I guess here I’ll summarize what I said before because my honest opinion is that more companies should use recruitby video interviewing. As a candidate I think it’s such a great tool to save time, to save money. And you know, many people think that every time you go to an interview, it means you really want the job. But I’ve been in situations in which I traveled 200 km by bus or train or whatever, and I go to an interview, and I realize that's not the company where I want to be. So whether you want the job or you still don't know if you want the job I think having Recruitby in the first phase of the selection process it's a great tool for you not to waste your time and money. If you're interested then great you'll get a chance to go to the next phase ,and if you're not interested well you might as well see how this turns out. I really like the system, I think that the most important thing is that it's executed so well you know you don't get lost. You get your email, you get your link, you just put your name and phone number so nothing is confusing about this. Everyone knows how to play video, everyone knows how to play record, and it would be really hard for me to think that someone would get lost in a system like this. Uhm, yeah, that’s about what I can say. I think it was very beneficial for me because, like I said before, I feel comfortable talking in front of a camera, or I have had some experience in this to the extent I now feel comfortable talking infront of a camera, and I don’t freak out if I have to answer to a computer instead of answering to a real person. So for me it was beneficial in that sense. But it also had been beneficial in many other interviews where I lost my time and money and didn’t get a chance to use Recruitby. So yeah, I used it, I loved it, I got the job, what else can I say."

 Curious to learn what other candidates thought of video interviews? Download our free ebook below!

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